Salesforce said on Monday that Slack will be integrated into the Customer 360 platform in several ways to help connect sales, marketing, and service staff more effectively — both internally and cross-company.

The announcement follows similar moves from Salesforce rival Microsoft, which integrated its Teams collaboration platform into Dynamics 365 in recent months to improve information sharing for staff using Microsoft’s CRM tools.

With Slack-First Customer 360, sales reps will be able to access and update Salesforce records with “digital deal rooms” in Slack; Salesforce cited a study from Forrester Consulting that suggests sales cycles are 15% faster when using team collaboration app. Automated daily briefs provide sales staff with a personalized list of tasks, meetings, and deals.

For customer service teams, integration with Salesforce Service Cloud will enable the creation of Slack channel “swarms” to resolve customer problems quickly, while an “expert finder” feature can “automatically identify” staff equipped to help with high-priority cases “based on availability, capacity, and skills.”

And for marketing staffers, there will be access to information from Datorama within Slack. The integration allows marketing staff to receive notifications of changes to marketing materials. These three Slack-First Sales, Service and Marketing features will be available in the pilot this fall, Salesforce said; the Datorama integration is available now.

Salesforce also announced plans to integrate Tableau into Slack, with notifications of changes within the analytics tool, such as a sales pipeline drop, as well as “watchlist digests” to provide a daily update on certain metrics. Slack-First Analytics is set for general availability this fall. Wayne Kurtzman, research director at IDC, said:

“Slack and Salesforce had two jobs: Don’t break either product and make both better than the sum of the parts. They did this by avoiding the temptation to quickly integrate the two interfaces, yet effectively enable integrations that streamline work.”

The integrations will enable both products to “do what they do and improve on that with a channel-based conversational layer that can trigger actions within the Salesforce stack,” he said.

While the two companies already had some integrations between their tools, this week’s announcement indicates Salesforce’s intention to tie the platforms together more deeply and to maximize cross-fertilization between them, said Angela Ashenden, principal analyst at CCS Insight.

Although the integrations should be useful in bridging user workflows, the process is in its early stages and the platforms remain very much separate.

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